Bucs QB and team captain Josh Freeman talked about his teammates arrests and how they are all on the players. Freeman said they do not reflect on HC Raheem Morris and the players have to stay out of trouble off the field.
Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman discussed the string of player arrests that has happened this season. Freeman is a team captain and said the players have discussed staying out of trouble off the field. He also defended head coach Raheem Morris and said the arrests should not reflect on him.
“We’re ready to go get it. We talk a lot about taking care of business of the field as well,” said Freeman. “It doesn’t speak well on the type of coach Raheem is. Raheem is a great coach. I mean everybody has the utmost respect for Raheem and the talk has really been stop screwing this guy over by getting in trouble off the field. That’s basically been the only wrinkle. Really we are excited. We are a young team we want to go out and find a way to win. If we can win out and get in the playoffs anything can happen. As Raheem would say, the most important game is the one right in front of you.”
On Monday morning linebacker Geno Hayes became the third Bucs player to be arrested during this season. Hayes was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors of disorderly conduct and trespassing. The police reportedly used a stun gun to try to subdue Hayes. Freeman said the arrests are not at all the fault of Morris and the players are completely responsible.
“Not at all. I don’t think it says anything about the type of coach Raheem is,” said Freeman. “I think some people could look at it that way, but honestly the circumstances where the stuff occurred it is all on the player. I mean his job is to coach us and put us in position to win football games. He’s done just that. When we get done with football you can’t expect Raheem to go to everybody’s house at a certain hour. It is the NFL we have to take a higher level of responsibility on ourselves from college. As team captains and leaders we’ve been stressing that a lot lately.”
Hayes is the ninth Bucs player or staff member to be arrested during the two-years that Morris has been head coach. Wide receiver Anthony Mix (sping of 2010), offensive tackle Marcus Johnson (fall of 2009), and tight end Jerramy Stevens were all previously arrested. The team released all three of them promptly after their arrests. Earlier this year wide receiver Mike Williams was arrested on suspicion of DUI on November 19th. Stevens was arrested on October 23rd for drug charges. Williams was fined by the Buccaneers organization.
Weeks before his contract ran out with Tampa Bay safety Jermaine Phillips was arrested on domestic battery charges. Assistant coach Chris Mosley was arrested for DUI and former wide receiver Mario Urrutia was arrested for a traffic violation. Right tackle Jeremy Trueblood was detained this summer in Indiana but not charged with any crime.
Cornerback Aqib Talib was arrested for assault on a cab driver in August of 2009. Talib served a one-game suspension and has been fined for off the field issues. Safety Tanard Jackson is suspended for 14 games of the 2010 season and will be suspended for at least two games in the 2011 season. Jackson was suspended for four games to start the 2009 season.
On Monday, Morris said he was frustrated with the player arrests and the organization will continue to stress making the right decisions when out in public.
“You talk to your team about making good decisions all the time. Obviously you are frustrated with anything that diverts attention away from your team,” said Morris. “So obviously you are frustrated with that and it is diverting attention away from us being 8-5 and talking about that stuff.
“The discipline in the building is as strict as it can be. You get fined for being a second late to a meeting, a lot of money . So it is not about discipline inside the building. It is about having the awareness with how to deal with normal people so to speak. Guys have to realize they are under microscope at all times. You have to have the ability to walk away at all times. Any confrontation of any argument you have to realize that you can’t be right. That’s the bottom line.”
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